Category Archives: Education

Character Education For Kids is Very Important

Why Character Education for kids is so Important?

There has been a shortage of character education in schools and this is becoming more evident from the increase in the crime rate and violent incidents taking place all over the world. Studies those have been made in different countries and the subsequent research done by experts and NGOs go on to show that there is a dramatic “moral decline” in the western world including America and Western Europe as well as Australia.

Much of these destructive trends are a direct result of the modern day social ideologies and thought processes that perpetuate self-indulgence and gratification of ones own being. Modern day thought processes deeply believe in the statistical data and is therefore obsessed with the massive growth in the mass media, the online world and the social networking sites like Face book, Orkut, Twitter etc. Modern day kids often try and look for solving their problems on the net which results in utmost confusion and wrongful decision making by them.

Why is Character Education so important for modern day children? Children these days do not feel the necessity of seeking the advice of their parents and other elder and experienced people who are much more mature than they are. This is also true because most of the families have become nuclear families and parents working hard for long hours and they have very little time to spare for their children who are left in the lurch to fend for themselves in their lives of lonely solitude, grappling to find a solution to each and every problem they encounter all by themselves. Children these days are losing faith in the concept of the absolute truth which every young individual is keen to find out. Therefore, because of this, the kids come to the conclusion that whatever works out for them in the short term is the right thing to do and things that do not work for them well is rejected by their subconscious minds to say the least.

With the growing disrespect for their parents and other elders who are seldom available, there is a shockingly overindulgence in sexual activities, increase in the number of abortion cases, there has been a big rise to self destructive habits and tendencies which manifest themselves in the form of suicidal attempts, taking recourse to drugs and alcohol thus resulting in their abuse and addiction, and many other types of destructive human behavior in modern society mostly in the big cities which emphasizes that there is a major concern and an urgent need for the introduction of moral education and in the school curriculum of every educational institution.

With rising competition in schools for getting better grades, moral science and character education as educative subjects have been losing its sheen and are being ignored. It is a subject that develops a person’s character traits and personality and yet it has not been made a compulsory subject. Because of this, we have seen a dramatic rise in the cases of instances in school violence, which are fatal and non-fatal crimes like rape, sexual predators, break in burglary etc. as well as serious assaults and racial discrimination’s as seen with the Australian students in recent times.

Character Ed Programs For Kids

Character education implies the teaching of good habits of thought and deed that enable people to live and work together harmoniously. It teaches kids to live positively as families, friends, neighbors and communities. These core values are inculcated in a kid so that he or she can grow up to be a well-informed, balanced and dutiful citizen. These core values are also focused on respect, justice, civic virtue, service to others and character development. Since our formative years are spent in school character education programs in school can positively shape up a child’s program very successfully.

Keeping the above objective in mind, the onus of teaching kids to be morally sound and ethical can only be bought about with character ed programs in schools that help inculcate the seeds of a strong moral character in a child. These programs should be wide enough to focus on a wide range of virtues and activities that can contribute to effective character building in kids. Kids can go in for skits, writing essays and visiting the classrooms of younger children and telling them about the virtues that they have learned. There are many ways in which schools can implement character education in the curriculum. These activities can help the kid get the overall social grooming that is required to help him or her grow up to be morally sound.

The use of class meetings is also a strong and effective means to address moral virtues among students in the class. These meetings help the students discuss with the teacher about some specific practical situations. They can discuss about the feelings and the perspectives of others when they are discussing these issues. Character education can be used as a guide when these discussions are being done. These interactions will help the students to respect and treat with each other with dignity. The use of children’s literature is also an effective means to communicate positive messages to the kids.

The kids in the above character ed programs can also inculcate social skills in the students and teach them about life skills. These skills will help them face all kinds of situations with a balanced approach instead of being confused on what to do. There are many character education programs that can also bring about positive personality development in a child as well. These programs make the child a mature and social responsible person. These quality education programs help the kid to develop safely and in a care giving environment.

Character building in schools is uniform and all the students are taught in the same manner. Such programs cannot be taught at home as parents may not be aware of the right techniques to do so. In fact, this responsibility should be shared among teachers, parents and other members of the community as children are our future generation of society. They should be brought up with care and positive knowledge and skills should be passed onto them so that grow up to be socially responsible citizens of the country.

Happiness Questions and Answers

Is it possible to teach children happiness? Some teachers and parents believe it is possible. Supporters of this idea think that if you’re building character, happiness belongs too. After all, the goal of character education is to help children with specific personal traits and qualities. Happiness is a personality trait that people can cultivate and encourage.

Are there actually classes that teach happiness?

No, you won’t see any class listed that way. You might see a character education program with a focus on things such as: kindness, honesty, integrity and self-esteem. Although the word happiness is not mentioned, all of those traits can lead to happiness. Kind people who are honest and have good self-esteem are generally happy. So it all works together.

What else contributes to happiness for children?

A loving environment works wonders. Feeling loved and safe in the home really puts children at ease. Also, it’s good if they learn to deal with their own emotions. Children have to learn how to handle fear, anger, confusion and sadness. If they can do that, they will find it easier to handle bad things that they encounter.

One important thing for children to learn is they can control their emotions. The way they respond to a situation determines their attitude. If a child gets a bad grade, they can choose to get angry, sad or determined to do better. A child who learns to control how they respond to things is less likely to become discouraged by setbacks.

So, is it really possible to teach happiness? The answer is maybe or maybe not. But it is possible to teach children personality traits that lead to happiness. Positive thinking does make a difference. Although some people frown upon the idea of positive thinking, what could it hurt? Thinking positively will get your further than having a negative downtrodden attitude.

Character Education Programs

Character is an important part of social life of every person and special attention has to be made to maintain it amongst the young generation. Character education programs are something that is incorporated into the syllabus of most public and private schools. The young generation, at present is under the influence of a large number of various cultures. As a result, youngsters of the Indian society are finding it hard to hold on their true characters. Behaving in public and in private are two very different things.

Some schools have psychologists as part of character education curriculum. These specially trained individuals play a significant role in defining the character of a student through repeated counselling procedures. Some youngsters have been found to have drifted away from normal life and forgotten social obligations due to family related problems. In these cases, the role of psychologists is indispensable. These programs are very efficient in building up a stronger and better young generation. Such curriculums have been known to bring back drifted individuals to the right paths in life.

The darkest aspects of human civilizations are crimes. And where do criminals end up? Jails… But, all criminals are not bad. Many have been forced to take up a life of crime due to certain social or economic compulsions. Whatever be the case, they must be brought back to mainstream life. And, the government needs to do its bit to promote character education programs in jails. If we are able to light up these dark minds, then we will surely be successful in building a crime free society. So, special vocational courses for prison inmates have to be arranged so that they can forget their miseries and enjoy a colourful life.

As we come towards the concluding section, we can easily draw out that character education curriculum is not something that remains strictly restricted to schools or educational institutes. Even grown up individuals need help and support to enrich their characters and face problems in a braver way. A person who has recently met an accident may become cowardice. But, with proper counselling, his character may be given a new shape so that he can look at life from a different point of view. Whatever be the case, these special types of programs form the backbone of the educated society and are here to play a major role in shaping our lives and future.

What is Character Education

Have you ever asked the question “what is character education” and wondered whether it is something that is important, or relevant to you? It can be described this way: “a deliberate and conscious effort to learn and develop virtues, and values, that are good for you and good for society.” So yes, it is important. And, it’s something to be aware of as you raise your children.

Most people agree that academic achievement is important. But character development is equally important, if not more so. Even if a child doesn’t do well academically, their character will still determine how well they do in life.

Throughout the world there are many values that are common to all cultures. These virtues include:

  • Upholding human dignity.
  • Helping to promote the well-being of an individual, as well as society.
  • Being clear to ourselves about our rights and obligations.
  • Treating people in the way you would wish to be treated.
  • Behaving in a way, in a given situation, in which you would wish all people to behave given the same set of circumstances.

In other words, character education is about learning and building any or all of the following traits:

  • Honesty
  • Initiative
  • Integrity
  • Optimism
  • Perseverance
  • Respect
  • Responsibility

When someone describes another person, they do so by describing their character. That person’s character is defined by a certain set of qualities, habits or attributes which they possess, and by which they are judged.

Children naturally want their days to be filled with happiness, fun, and playfulness. Unfortunately, not all children achieve these wants and grow up having negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves and the world.

The good news is that with the right training, these negative thoughts and beliefs can be changed and children can learn to develop positive beliefs about themselves. They can also start to experience feelings of optimism about their future and their life.

This type of education gives kids a chance to grow up into happy, well-adjusted, well-rounded adults. They will be able to deal with everyday situations in a positive manner which is beneficial to themselves and those around them.

Character Education is Everywhere

Character education isn’t anything new. It’s recently received a formal label. However, adults have been teaching character for years. Maybe it wasn’t in a formal class setting, but that doesn’t matter. Parents and grandparents, teachers, coaches and anyone who interacts with kids is a teacher of character.

Anyone who helps shape a child’s personality and view of life is a character educator. Do you disagree with that statement? Well, consider this. You influence the children you interact with in a number of ways, including:

1. The way you talk. Do you use a lot of foul language? If so, the children around you may pick up the same habit. You’re basically showing them that it’s fine to use bad language. Unless someone else shows them otherwise, they will probably start speaking the same way.

You can also influence their manner of speech. Do you use slang all the time? Do you speak proper English, Spanish or whatever language you speak? Using slang and improper forms of speech can influence children as well. Have you ever heard an older child speak who sounds like they don’t understand the language? It’s probably because they’ve picked up negative speech patterns from an adult.

2. Your behavior. Do you allow children to see you blatantly lying? Do you treat people unfairly? Any such behaviors can influence what children do. Children are heavily influenced by how adults behave. They pay more attention to what you do as opposed to what you tell them to do. If your actions contradict your words, children will pay closer attention to your actions.

3. The behavior you allow. How do you allow children to behave? Do you let them litter without telling them to clean it up? Do you allow them to run in the house? Children will think anything is fine unless you tell them otherwise.

Thinking About Character Education

There was a time when all children had at least one parent stay home every day so that the children could come home for lunch and have a parent be at home. Besides a parent there also may be one or two grandparents that also lived in the same house with them. It was not unusual to have two or three generations of a family live in the same home. When this happened the children had numerous people who could and would shape their thoughts and minds. These different sets of parents or grandparents would have a lot of input in how the child thought or acted. They would be taught responsibility in the home along with other values that would eventually build their character education.

Today there is often no parent at home and a child does not always come home from school for lunch but will spend an entire day in the school or the school yard. There may not even be a parent waiting for that child to come home form school. They used to be called latch key kids but unfortunately there are far too many that fall in this category to call them latch key kids. Today it may be almost all of the kids fall into this category. So there will not be someone to greet them nor is there a person who will continually help the child with character education at all. Then just who is assigned this task? It generally falls to a teacher at the school or perhaps a scout leader or even someone at a church if they attend one regularly.

Character education means just that, to develop character of a child so that they have the ability to distinguish right from wrong. So they can stay focused on their school work or other hobbies or tasks they may have to complete. This character development is necessary in today’s world just as it was twenty or thirty years ago. And if parents cannot provide it then the parents should be thinking about how their child is going to develop character.

Character implies so many positive words. It includes the words such as honesty and respect. Character requires courage and self discipline. When an adult goes to work they have to have integrity and so does a child as he or she gets older and enters the work force. But a child must have all of these things just to live a good life. If a child has been taught the rules of fairness then they may also have the courage of their convictions when faced with a dilemma or even some choices. Children are not born with these character traits but some children seem to acquire them faster than others. And a lot of this can be attributed to their living environment which includes their schools.

Teaching Character Education

Who is responsible for teaching character to our society in this day and age? And even more importantly, who is responsible for teaching character to our youth? Is it the household? Is it the media or our entertainment industry? Or is it our educational system?

It seems that for far too long, a child’s character education has been relegated to the confines of their household. Unfortunately, data shows us that parents are spending less and less time with their children these days. And as such, the odds that the small amount of time that parents are spending with their children is focused on conversations leading to the development of good character, are minimal.

Sadly, children are all too often left with either learning their character traits from their friends or from movies and TV. And the likelihood that they are learning any good character traits from these two sources, is indeed quite small. It is doubtful in today’s world of heightened violence and instant gratification, that children are being exposed to life benefiting character education to the degree that will produce the positive results that we seek for our nation as a whole. Positive results meaning a country that doesn’t come to the brink of economic collapse due to the acts of unscrupulous bankers, mortgage professionals, and politicians. Or positive results that leads to a society that doesn’t unethically invade a country on false pretenses, or torture its enemies of war. Character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. And when and individual has character, we usually view them as having moral or ethical strength. Or better put, the strength to do what is right.

Teaching Character Education

If character development does not take place at home it must be acquired somewhere else. There are a lot of various organizations that are meant to instill values in children such as the various scout organizations. In fact the Boy Scout motto is Be Prepared and the mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare the children who join their organization to make ethical and moral choices that will go with them for their entire lives. The organization was established over 100 years ago and the values are as valid today as they were then. It is just that children don’t have the parents or authorities or whomever to instill these character traits in them unless they are taught character education in the classroom.

To quote the Boy Scout website, “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” And all of these words have meaning. They are good strong words that are meant to reflect good strong children who grow up into good strong adults. Unfortunately many teachers do not have the training to teach character education in the classroom. But there are many schools that have made it their mission to teach character development to the children who enter their schools. These character education schools have taken this responsibility upon themselves. They believe that children taught character will be a benefit to both them and to the society as a whole.

Just as the Boy Scouts of America have values also so do the schools that are teaching these values or character traits. Some of these values are things such as having a suitable and positive behavior, or having respect and compassion for other people. Just recognizing that some people are different and accepting that difference is a part of character education and growth.

There are many ways for teachers to teach character development. One of them is to assign certain reading materials that highlight this character development. Or another way is to engage children who have observed someone who is a bully and get them to interact with each other and the teacher and have them discuss this person. Ask hard questions like do you approve of this behavior or ask them what they would do different. One of the precepts of character education is getting a child to think about their actions and the actions of others. If a child begins to think about different actions then perhaps they will then think of the different outcomes of their actions.

Where to Find Character Education

If a teacher wants to find character education teacher resources they may search the internet for resources. There are a lot of websites that come up when you do a search on character education teacher resources. There are also a number of schools who have created an environment where a person can access character education teacher resources. These schools are actively encouraging teachers to join in the effort to teach character development of children so these children make better decisions, can tell right from wrong or exhibit positive social behaviors to name a few.

There is a list of character development traits on some of the websites that a teacher could use as a guideline in the classroom lessons. There are also lists of discussion topics and suggestions on how to conduct character education. Some topics but certainly not all of them would be to have the students have actual input into decisions that affect them. They may not be able to do this at home but in a classroom situation they may be able to make actual decisions such as how much they may choose to read versus not reading.

Or perhaps they can make a decision as what they would like to have for lunch if presented with different choices. Then when they have made their choices the teacher could start a discussion as to why they made those decisions and what the child thinks the expected outcome might be. For example if a child chooses to have a high fat meal then the discussion could center on self discipline and controlling their impulses. Then the discussion could veer towards the implications of a high fat diet such as obesity. Then the discussion could be about responsibility to the self and what those actions will do to society as a whole. Negative and positive thoughts could be discussed and then the teacher could go toward suitable positive and responsible social behavior and the repercussions of a negative social behavior.

If one does an internet search they may be surprised just how many resources actually are available online. They may also be surprised just how many schools are actively engaging in joining in teaching character education and including it in the spare classroom time or as extra curriculum after school.

A character building session may center on more personal things for a child such as being responsible and choosing the right friends. These are friends that would also have strong character and beliefs in what is right and wrong rather than friends who have the best iPod or wear the right clothes. This too is a character building exercise for a child. If they have to discuss what is important to them in friends they may find they can make choices and don’t have to follow the crowd. In fact almost any situation where children interact is a chance to start a character building session and carry on a discussion. This will help instill values as well as give a child choices.